Responsibility-centered leadership versus Reward-centered leadership

“Some leaders fail to achieve organizational health because they possess an almost unconscious unwillingness to do the difficult tasks and confront the challenging situations that are required to bring it about. This unwillingness flows from a flawed – and dangerous – motivation for becoming a leader.”

Patrick Lencioni in “The Motive

In his excellent new book The Motive , Patrick Lencioni does an excellent job addressing something what has become a great concern to me – the motive behind why some people choose to lead or accept leadership roles and it has a direct bearing on their effectiveness as a leader.

People that are “reward-centered” leaders will, and do, damage the people and organizations they lead. It is time to do something different. Following is one of my favorite quotes from The Motive:

“I believe it’s long past time that we, as individuals and as a society, reestablished the standard that leadership can never be about the leader more than the led.”

Patrick Lencioni in The Motive”

So, it is time to start leaning what it means to be a “responsibility-centered” leader. To learn that while there is great joy in leading, it comes at a price. Leading well is hard work and often painful while at the same time very rewarding. The key is that leadership is more about the people that you lead than it s about you.

Good leadership starts with humility – the understanding that it’s not all about me.